Transfer Clearinghouse Creates Pathways for Students

Erica Austin, Vice Provost for Academic Affairs, 509-335-5581,

Ron Mittelhammer; Dean of the College of Agricultural, Human, and Natural Resource Sciences and Regents Professor; 509-335-8704;

PULLMAN, Wash.—Although some of our best, brightest Cougars come from community colleges or other schools, we have seen that they often encounter a number of barriers when making the transition to WSU.

WSU’s new Transfer Clearinghouse now is in place to provide transfer students with a clear, clean path to WSU.

Susan Poch serves as director of the Transfer Clearinghouse.

“The ultimate goal is to boost the number, and retention rates, of transfer students,” Poch says. “In the past, you’ve had to hunt for information about transferring to WSU. We’re working to make the process smoother and hopefully the Transfer Clearinghouse will serve as a main point of contact for all of our resources.”

The Transfer Clearinghouse was established after Provost Dan Bernardo’s transfer task force identified the need for more support for students entering WSU from other institutions.

In 2013-14, more than 17,000 Washington students transferred from community and technical colleges to four-year institutions, including around 1,100 at WSU-Pullman and several hundred more at our urban campuses. Typically, about half of WSU graduates are transfer students and 49 percent graduate within three years of arriving on campus.

Poch and assistant director Waylon Safranski aim to improve those numbers, while increasing the number of transfer students overall.

The Transfer Clearinghouse website ( will be launched soon, providing easy access to information and resources. An answer-line will give students the opportunity to ask specific questions about their transfer situations.

The Clearinghouse also will ease the burden on the Office of Admissions, which has fielded inquiries in the past.

“Having this as a central point of contact for transfer will make the process easier for all of our stakeholders,” Poch says.

The Transfer Clearinghouse is a two-year project, but the long-term vision includes a transfer center, where students could tap into a variety of support services.

Poch also is working at the state level on issues like credit conversion, course numbering and military credit. Ultimately, the effort is designed to help fulfill WSU’s land grant mission and reach out to a growing population of students.

“Transfer students bring diversity and experience,” Poch says. “There will be more intentional focus on transfers in the years to come.”